Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Franklin participates in confined space training

Hi Steve,

Your readers may be interested to know that Franklin municipal employees recently participated in a free confined space training held in Williamsburg. The town of Franklin is eligible to receive insurance premium credits through participation in loss prevention and risk management programs such as this one. Please feel free to contact either Jeff Nutting or me with any questions. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Franklin participates IN CONFINED SPACE TRAining
OCTOBER 22, 2012 -- Municipal employees in water, sewer, lighting and fire departments regularly work among the most hazardous conditions – including confined spaces. To limit risk and ensure safety, 25 municipal workers from Franklin, Williamsburg and surrounding communities participated in a comprehensive, two-day Confined Space Training on September 20-21 at the Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg. The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), Williamsburg's property and casualty insurance provider, in collaboration with The New England Consortium (TNEC), a worker health and safety training organization, offered the training free of charge to the communities as a membership benefit.
 According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) confined workspaces are those which, "Hinder the activities of any employees that must enter into, work in, and exit from them." Confined spaces present increased risk of serious injury and exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment in water, soil or other debris, and dangerous atmospheric conditions (presence of toxins or lack of oxygen). On average, 80 fatalities occur each year in the Unites States because of confined space hazards; about 50 percent of them are would-be rescuers. "We are grateful to MIIA for training opportunities like this one, which will help us enhance our community services, keep Franklin's employees safe, and reduce municipal risks – without additional cost to the taxpayer," said Jeffrey Nutting, town administrator. Training participants learned about OSHA-recommended protocols for entering Permit Required Confined Spaces including procedures and checklists for eliminating or controlling hazards and preventing injury. They also evaluated confined space scenarios and learned about the roles of the worksite entrant, attendant and supervisor. Trainees were educated on personal protective equipment, gas meters, air monitoring equipment and blowers; how to calculate hazardous chemical flash points and exposure limits; as well as "lock-out/tag-out" procedures for controlling kinetic or mechanical energy. Hands-on activities in actual permit spaces included group communications exercises and demonstrations of confined space access and retrieval using harnesses and tripod systems.
Upon completion of this and other MIIA risk- and loss-prevention programs, the town is eligible to receive insurance premium credits through the MIIA Rewards Programs thereby reducing its property and casualty insurance costs.
 About MIIAMIIA is the non-profit, member-based insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association insuring nearly 400 cities, towns, and other public entities in the state. In fiscal year 2012, nearly 8,000 city and town employees participated in close to 350 MIIA-sponsored technical trainings and management seminars offered throughout the Commonwealth. Member municipalities' collective efforts yielded more than $2.6 million in premium credits through the MIIA Rewards incentive program which has a 10-year total of $17.3 million. For more information please visit www.emiia.org and www.mma.org.
 About TNECThe New England Consortium (TNEC) is a worker health and safety training organization based at UMASS Lowell. Since 1987, TNEC has provided dynamic hands-on, participatory health and safety training. It partners with MIIA to bring several training programs to municipal employees in Massachusetts. Through simulated work tasks and mock incidents, TNEC students gain a better understanding of work site hazards and how to properly respond in an emergency situation. TNEC is one of 20 national programs administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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